2012 Pro Bowl Game: Same Old Song and Dance

January 30, 2012

NEW YORK – The NFC played the AFC in another Pro Bowl designed to be a sleeping tranquilizer on Sunday afternoons. It got so bad, they had to move it to the evenings. The opening ceremonies and hoopla are more entertaining then the game itself, that is why I say expand them. My final score prediction was an NFC win 47-35 in a high scoring scrimmage of stars. The actual final score was even worse, the AFC beat the NFC 59-41. I sent NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell my previous article with ideas on improving this game. It was cool to see the star players hanging out and interacting but make the Pro Bowl about the game and let the elite and hungry college players have a moment to shine. Give out cars to three types of Pro Bowl MVP. I wish there was an easy fix but there is simply too much money tied up with those star players. Something has to be done.

I’m sure there are some fans out there that didn’t even watch this game. Either way, the game I know everyone will be watching is Super Bowl XLVI next Sunday night at 6:18 PM EST. I continue to say the same thing, watch Eli Manning have an elite game and win Super Bowl MVP for a second time. He is in the zone so deep, that he was must be ready to get on the field already. Manning and Jason Pierre-Paul were voted into the Pro Bowl but skipped it because of the Super Bowl. That was Manning’s second career Pro Bowl and JPP’s first ever but the ring is the thing. The ring is what teams play for at the end of the day. I expect a tough game from the Patriots who are a very good football team but they simply will not be able to match the Giants resiliency.

The Giants will continue their ‘Road Warrior’ mentality by wearing the road white jerseys in the Super Bowl, just like the ones they wore when they beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl back in 2007. There are so many angles to this game including the New York vs. Boston angle which is deep in both cities. The rematch angle, the revenge angle. The Brady vs. Manning angle, the Lucas Oil stadium in Indy angle. Peyton’s house in Indianapolis hosting little brother Eli in the Super Bowl. The Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick relation to coach Bill Parcells angle. The one angle I’m certain will be the most enjoyable is knowing these teams will be playing hard and trying to win a football game unlike the Pro Bowl, which continues to be a disappointment. Congrats to the players voted in and much respect for their skills on the field. This isn’t about the players, it’s about making the event something worth watching.

Do you watch the Pro Bowl every year? If not, why?

RD – nygreporter.com

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2012 Pro Bowl Weekend Coverage: Let’s Go NFC!

January 29, 2012

NEW YORK – As all of you probably know by now, there will be no Giants playing in the Pro Bowl because they will be playing in the Super Bowl. Still, QB Eli Manning and DE Jason Pierre-Paul were voted in as starters. Both of those guys deserved the honor but so did a few guys who were not voted in. WR Victor Cruz might be right up there on the top of the list. You could make an argument for CB Corey Webster, S Antrel Rolle and P Steve Weatherford. Most of the Giants lost considerable time with injuries or they might have made the squad too, like DE Osi Umenyiora, WR Hakeem Nicks, DE Justin Tuck and TE Jake Ballard. Still, I’d rather see them all in the Super Bowl.

What can Roger Goodell do to make the Pro Bowl more interesting? One idea is to use it as a tool overseas to showcase the players. This will never happen because the game doesn’t mean anything other then the honor of being voted in. This would discourage new fans overseas and hurt the NFL inevitably. Perhaps more awards need to be given out such as the UFC does with individual bonus pay for a variety of awards. The NFL should do more of the old school things like defensive lineman challenge and skills contests over the weekend. I would also include a ‘Strongest Man in the NFL’ contest, a ‘Smartest Man in the NFL’ contest and a ‘Fastest Man in the NFL’ contest. I’m sure I will watch some of the game but there is no masking the fact that players do not want to get injured in this game and risk their contracts. And who can blame them?

I’m not sure if this is a game that should be played by the highest paid athletes in the game. I believe all Pro Bowlers should have to attend the festivities and be available for press and what not. Let the Pro Bowlers actually enjoy the event with their families and have some player only activities and meals set up for privacy. The question that remains is what kind of a game will be played? Perhaps an old school gridiron game in throwback uniforms but using the most promising prospects in college football? This game should be transformed into a meaningful event using old school gear and uniforms. The Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams MVP’s of the game win cars. Only then can you take this overseas to truly show the history and tradition of American football. Each game ticket can include a 4 hour DVD of game footage from that years Pro Bowl players. They can be handed out at the stadium, something well produced. Pro Bowl players have permanent decal on helmet the entire year following the Pro Bowl. Return to Hawaii once every 5 years. Give the Pro Bowl players diamond chains with the diamond charm of the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl logo or whatever it is that year. Something to go with a Super Bowl ring.

What are your suggestions on how to make the Pro Bowl more interesting and worth while to the fans and players. What is your final score prediction? I’m predicting an NFC win over the AFC by the score 47-35.

RD – nygreporter.com

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Familiar New York Giants Players Back in the Pro Bowl

January 11, 2011

NEW YORK – The G-Men have had their share of pro bowl athletes over the years and this year is no different. The Giants have a total of four players that were selected to go to Hawaii. Unfortunately, the injury bug has bitten C Shaun O’Hara and he has graciously backed out of the pro bowl to allow another player a unique opportunity. The remaining three Giants who will attend are DE Justin Tuck, OL Chris Snee and S Antrel Rolle. I can name 3 or 4 other Giants (CB Terrell Thomas, WR Hakeem Nicks, DE Osi Umenyiora, RB Ahmad Bradshaw) that could have made the pro bowl squad but what good would it do now. I hope all of you Giants fans out there did your part and voted for the players this year.

The NFL made the right choice when they decided to move the Pro Bowl to the weekend prior to the Super Bowl. That was a very wise decision and one that all football fans agree is the right idea. With that being said, the game still needs more work because the fans have no emotional tie to the game. The game doesn’t mean anything and the players simply go through the motions when they are out on the field. Being selected is more of an honor and a recognition of a players skills then it is an actual game. It’s just the way it is now and that is what the game has transformed into over the years. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell still has some work to do with this game before the NFL fan base takes it seriously.

Let’s take a look at the four lucky men who were voted into the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl.

1. OL Chris Snee – This will not be Snee’s first rodeo. He is now a three time pro bowler and a rock solid lineman who plays with a mean streak. He has become an elite offensive lineman and has played his entire career with Big Blue.

2. DE Justin Tuck – Tuck had 11.5 sacks for the year (tied with Osi for the most on the team) and really seemed to take his leadership role to the next level. He deserves to go to Hawaii and it’s nice to see him coming into his own. Tuck is now a two time pro bowler and has played his entire career with the Giants.

3. S Antrel Rolle – Rolle was the second leading defensive tackler in 2010 with 76 solo tackles and 11 assisted. He also had 1 INT and 2 fumble recoveries. He has become a fan favorite in New York and also in the coaches office. Rolle is also a two time pro bowl selection.

4. C Shaun O’Hara – O’Hara was injured for a good part of the 2010 season but still gets love from the voters. He is a three time pro bowler and has been the plug in the middle for the Giants since 2004.

The 2011 NFL Pro Bowl will be held on January 30, 2011 at 7 PM EST. The game will take place at Aloha stadium in Hawaii.

RD – nygreporter.com

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